Portrait with Keys
The City of Johannesburg Unlocked
ISBN10: 0393335402 ISBN13: 9780393335408 Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc Published: Jun 1 2009 Pages: 203 Weight: 0.35lbs. Height: 8.25" Width: 5.50" Depth: 0.75" Language: English
This dazzling portrait of Johannesburg is one of the most haunting, poetic pieces of reportage about a metropolis since Suketu Mehta's Maximum City. Through precisely crafted snapshots, Ivan Vladislavic observes the unpredictable, day-today transformation of his embattled city: the homeless using manholes as cupboards, a public statue slowly cannibalized for scrap. Most poignantly he charts the small, devastating changes along the postapartheid streets: walls grow higher, neighborhoods are gated off, the keys multiply. Security--insecurity?--is the growth industry. Vladislavic, described as "one of the most imaginative minds at work in South African literature today" (André Brink), delivers "one of the best things ever written about a great, if schizophrenic, city, and an utterly true picture of the new South Africa" (Christopher Hope).